Minister of Electricity and Water and Public Works Ahmad Al-Jassar submitted his resignation yesterday and did not attend the regular meeting of the Cabinet as a result. Jassar tendered his resignation after the lower court on Monday sentenced him and 14 former and current officials from the ministry of electricity and water to a two-year jail term and dismissal from service, with an option to pay KD 1,000 to suspend the imprisonment. They were also fined KD 20,000 each.
Kuwaiti voters elected pro-government candidates to replace five opposition lawmakers who resigned two months ago in by-elections that saw one of the lowest turnouts in the emirate's history.
The results will boost the grip of the government on the 50-seat parliament where it already enjoyed a comfortable majority.
Almost all opposition groups boycotted the by-elections as they did the general elections held in February and December of 2012 which were both overturned by court judgements.
Thousands of anti-government protesters have rallied in Kuwait, demanding an end to alleged multi-million dollar corrupt transactions which they say involve government officials.
The protesters came out in response to a call made by veteran opposition leader Musallam al-Barrack, who vowed to reveal the names of officials he accused of complicity in bribery.
The ruler of Kuwait accepted on Monday the resignation of the education minister, the second cabinet member to resign in two weeks, state-run KUNA news agency quoting an official statement.
The cabinet of the oil-rich Gulf nation was informed of the decision during its weekly meeting, the statement said.
No reason was given for the resignation of Education Minister Ahmad al-Mulaifi, but local media reported that he stepped down after two Egyptian workers were killed at a construction site for Kuwait's new university.
Kuwait will hold parliamentary by-elections on June 26 to replace five lawmakers who quit over a row about questioning the Gulf state's prime minister in parliament, a senior government official said late on Sunday.
Some Kuwaiti media have said the resignations of the five in April and May could lead to the dissolution of the 50-member assembly. By setting a date for by-elections, the government is signaling it wants to push ahead with the current parliament.
Kuwait’s justice and Islamic affairs minister has resigned after a senior U.S. official said he had called for jihad in Syria and promoted the funding of terrorism.
Last month Nayef al-Ajmi rejected the comments made in March by U.S. Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen as “groundless and baseless,” and was backed by the cabinet.
But on Monday, Ajmi said the Gulf state’s ruler had accepted his resignation, local news service al-Rai reported on Monday. Kuwaiti media reported last month that he had already offered to resign once, citing health reasons.
Two more Kuwaiti legislators have resigned in protest at the parliament's refusal to question the prime minister on corruption allegations, bringing to five the number of MPs who have quit over the issue.
Ali al-Rashed, a former parliamentary speaker, and Safa al-Hashem, the only female MP in the 50-member house, said on Sunday that they had resigned because the situation in the Gulf state had reached a "deadlock."
Three Kuwaiti MPs have declared they will quit after the National Assembly rejected their application to hold a public grilling of the prime minister, Kuwait Times reported.
Parliamentary questioning of the prime minister is viewed in Kuwait as MPs’ greatest power in a semi-democracy where majority of Cabinet members are appointed by the Emir rather than elected.
MPs regularly apply to “grill” ministers on various issues.
First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said Kuwait did not wish to see presidential elections in Syria, while President Bashar Al-Assad's candidacy would undermine political endeavors for transition.
"We don't wish to see presidential elections in Syria in June next," Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled told a session of the Arab Media Forum.
Kuwait's prime minister has told legislators that a videotape allegedly showing former senior officials plotting a coup was "tampered with", stirring more controversy in the Gulf Arab state.
Local media have said the former officials in the videotape include a senior member of the ruling family, without giving details.
An opposition group in Kuwait, the Gulf Arab country with the most open political system, has set out a wide-ranging proposal for reform including parties, an elected government and greater powers for parliament.
The Opposition Coalition, formed last year by already existing groups of nationalists, Islamists, youths and liberals, issued a call at the weekend for major constitutional and legislative reforms to give elected officials more power.
The parliament’s financial and economic committee meets today to discuss ‘populist’ draft laws that include increases to social security, rent allowance and housing loans. Meanwhile, AlQabas daily quoted committee president Faisal AlShaya who revealed that Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz AlSabah, as well as Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Health Minister Sheikh Mohammad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah, are invited “to provide the government’s opinion” on the proposals.
KUWAIT: Gulf Cooperation Council parliament and Shura council chiefs have come up with a number of joint recommendations at the end of a meeting in Kuwait yesterday. They decided that Kuwait will host a conference of the committee of parliament chiefs on GCC economic integration in 2014, while Kuwait’s National Assembly will also be responsible for organizing a trip involving the regional group to the US Congress.
DUBAI/KUWAIT CITY, Nov 25, (RTRS): Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been quietly reining in their clerics on concerns that preachers could use their influence to stir up trouble and inflame sectarian divisions at a time of high tension over the crises in Syria and Egypt. Authorities in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to a powerful conservative clergy, have declined to respond to local media reports in recent months which said nearly 20 clerics had been sacked or suspended.
KUWAIT: Newly-nominated National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said he would be working on “opening a new page” with the government and putting past wounds behind them. Al-Ghanim was voted speaker in the parliament’s first session yesterday by a huge majority of 36 votes, ahead of rivals ex-speaker in the void parliament Ali Al-Rashed (18 votes), Roudhan Al-Roudhan (eight votes) and Ali Al-Omair (0 votes).
Kuwait's minority Shia MPs have lost more than half of their seats in the second parliamentary election in less than a year, official results show.
Shia candidates won eight seats in the 50-member parliament, compared with a record 17 in the ballot in December.
Liberal and tribal groups have emerged the main winners. Voter turnout was an estimated 52.5%, which was higher than expected despite an opposition boycott.
The previous parliament was dissolved in December over a procedural flaw.
Kuwaitis head to the polls tomorrow for a second parliamentary election in eight months that opposition groups are boycotting and that is not expected to heal years of bitter divisions. The election-the sixth in as many years for the oil-rich Gulf state-follows a dull campaign that has failed to jolt apathetic voters into action.
The Appeals Court yesterday reinstated four candidates and allowed them to run in the July 27 election after it overturned a decision by the Administrative Court to disqualify them. The original decision was issued by the Interior Ministry because the candidates did not fulfill conditions for running in election.